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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Make your own ketchup

Making your own tomato, chilli sauce or other sauces from your own fresh produce is an excellent way of preserving your produce. The equipment needed is available in your kitchen and the only addition you may need is a good sieve to obtain the right consistency for your sauce. 

Bottled sauces made from low acid ingredients such as ripened tomatoes will need sterilising before long term storage to prevent fermentation. If you are only making a small batch and using it within a month sterilisation is not necessary or you may choose to freeze your sauce.

But if you are sterilising, this can be done using any deep pan, such as a pressure cooker, as long it is deep enough to completely cover the bottle and has room for a wire rack to ensure the bottle does not come in direct contact with the heat to avoid cracking. To sterilise your sealed bottles, you will need to bring the water to boil and simmer for at least an hour whilst ensuring the water level does not drop. 

The methods for sauce making will vary depending on your selected recipe but in all cases use ingredients that are ripe and undamaged. Wash thoroughly and remove any blemished areas. Always cook your ingredients slowly and stir occasionally. Press the pulped ingredients through a sieve and re-heat in a clean pan, adding any other suggested ingredients, before brining to the boil until thickened. Once ready, pour into pre-sterilised jars or bottles and seal.

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